Channel 5's Maxine has true-crime viewers wondering what happened to Maxine Carr, Ian Huntley's former girlfriend

Channel 5 retells the horrifying story of the Sohem murders with a spotlight on Ian Huntley's girlfriend in its new true-crime series, Maxine

Maxine Carr: what happened to Ian Huntley's girlfriend and did she go to prison?
(Image credit: Channel 5/ViaCom)

Channel 5's new true-crime series, Maxine, tells the story of Maxine Carr, the Lincolnshire woman who gave Ian Huntley a false alibi after he murdered Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002. 

Nearly twenty years on from the Soham murders, the tragic case is back in the headlines. 

Channel 5 dropped the first episode of its new three-part drama, Maxine, on Monday, in a harrowing re-exploration of the double homicides of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman that sent shockwaves across the UK in August 2002. The release has garnered a mixed reaction from viewers, with some people branding it as insensitive and others comparing it to shows that monetize tragedy like 'Blonde' and 'Dahmer'

Channel 5/ViaCom

Jemma Carlton as Maxine Carr 

(Image credit: Channel 5/ViaCom)

Wells and Chapman were murdered by Ian Huntley in the quiet Cambridgeshire town of Soham after being lured into the school caretaker's home, leading to a 13-day-long intensive search for the missing 10-year-olds. 

That same day, Huntley and his then-girlfriend, Maxine Carr, were arrested on suspicion of abduction and murder. Huntley was sentenced to two life sentences in prison, while Carr was ordered to serve three and a half years in jail. The harrowing case left a black mark on Britain, prompting fears amongst parents across the country for the safety of their children. 

In a controversial retelling of the story, Maxine spotlights the woman who gained national notoriety after giving Huntley a false alibi by pretending she was with him on the day of the murders. It later emerged that the 26-year-old, who was also a teaching assistant at Wells' and Chapman's primary school, had actually been in a Grimsby nightclub with another man when the incident occurred. 

Channel 5/ViaCom

Jemma Carlton plays Maxine Carr in Channel 5's Maxine, opposite Scott Reid as Ian Huntley

(Image credit: Channel 5/ViaCom)

Did Maxine Carr go to prison? 

Yes, Maxine Carr was sentenced to three and a half years in a Derbyshire prison for conspiracy to pervert the court of justice in December 2003. She was released from jail on probation in May 2004, however, after serving less than half of her sentence. 

Is Maxine Carr still alive? 

Maxine Carr is still alive, but she no longer goes by her birth-given name. Today, the former teaching assistant lives under a new identity at a secret location in the UK, having won an injunction in 2005 that granted her lifelong anonymity on the grounds of concerns for her health and safety. 

What happened to Maxine Carr after she was released from prison? 

Maxine Carr was moved to 10 different safe houses in the first two years following her release from prison, after her safety was repeatedly endangered by angry locals who'd discovered her identity. Despite the injunction banning any reporting of the 27-year-old's whereabouts, it didn't take long for members of the public to find out the truth of her backstory. 

"I remember it [Carr's arrival in the town] because of the number of police who suddenly arrived almost overnight,” one pub landlord told the Times in 2004.

"Round here you can phone for the police and you’ll normally have to wait for an hour for them to turn up. But in a couple of days, there were more than double the number of officers around.

"In a small place like this, where everybody knows everybody, it didn’t take too long for the word to get out that Maxine Carr was here." 

Carr gave birth to her first child at a safe house in 2011, according to the Mirror. Three years later, she tied the knot in a lavish ceremony attended by friends and family. It was reported that Carr, who wore a £2000 ivory wedding dress for the big day, was walked down the aisle by her fiancé. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.